Postpartum preeclampsia is a serious condition related to high blood pressure (hypertension) and is closely related to preeclampsia, which occurs in 2-8% of all pregnancies. It usually occurs within 48 hours of childbirth, but can develop up to six weeks postpartum, or later.
If left untreated, it can lead to strokes, seizures, or life-threatening conditions like HELLP syndrome.
The risk factors for postpartum preeclampsia are similar to those for preeclampsia and include:
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the above symptoms.
Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following symptoms:
Postpartum preeclampsia is usually diagnosed with blood tests and urine samples. After diagnosis, it may be treated with medication to lower high blood pressure and/or medication to prevent seizures (magnesium sulfate). These medications are generally considered safe for breastfeeding, but talk to your doctor to be sure.